Benjamin Netanyahu admits Israel to blame for Damascus strikes

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott speaks at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya

Syrian state media reported on Sunday that Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles towards Damascus, with one striking a warehouse at the airport.

Israel has traditionally refrained from publicizing military operations against Iranian-linked targets on its northern front, but has been lifting the veil in recent days, a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tension with Syria's big-power backer, Russia.

"We have operated with impressive success in thwarting Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria, in the framework of which the military has struck hundreds of times against Iranian and Hezbollah targets", Netanyahu said.

"We have now exposed all attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon into Israel", the Israel Defense Forces tweeted on Sunday.

'Just in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses containing Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport, ' Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting today.

Syria filed complaints with the UN Security Council over the airstrikes, the Times of Israel reported. The Syrian foreign ministry alleges Israel was able "get away with attacks against Syria" only because it is backed by the United States.

"Only a ministry of transport warehouse at Damascus worldwide airport was hit", SANA cited the military source as saying.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said "two areas hosting military positions of Iranian forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement have been targeted".

Israel has mounted attacks in Syria as part of its efforts to counter the influence created by Iran, which is supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.

"They built intelligence bases and an air force base within each Syrian air base".

Netanyahu also cited the Israeli military's assessment that it has completed its search-and-destroy mission against Hezbollah attack tunnels.

Israel has long called for a crackdown on the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a heavily armed mini-army that is believed to possess an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach almost all of Israel.

During his remarks to the cabinet, Netanyahu also thanked outgoing IDF chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot for his service to the country. He will be replaced on Tuesday by Maj.

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